Department Chair

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Allison Thorson is a Professor of Communication Studies, Chair of the Department of Communication Studies, Director of the Interdisciplinary Committee on Children and Youth, and Director of the Child and Youth Studies Minor at University of San Francisco. Her research focuses on how individuals and families communicatively manage and maintain individual/relational well-being in the context of — often deemed taboo — unexpected, hurtful, or non-normative events (e.g., family communication...

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln, PhD Communication Studies, 2009
  • Missouri State University, MA Communication and Mass Media, 2001
  • University of Northern Iowa, BA in Communication / Public Relations...

Full-Time Faculty

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Sarah Burgess is an Associate Professor in Communication Studies, Gender and Sexualities Studies, and Critical Diversity Studies. Working at the intersections of rhetorical theory, political theory, legal theory, philosophy, and gender and sexualities studies, she examines the rhetorical contours of recognition in order to understand the possibilities and limits of justice. She recently edited a special issue of Philosophy & Rhetoric that brought together authors from several disciplines to...

  • PhD/MA, Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley
  • MA/BA, Communication Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Kalmanovitz Hall 339

Dr. Zifei “Fay” Chen is an associate professor in the Communication Studies Department and oversees the Public Relations Minor program. Specialized in public relations and strategic communication, Dr. Chen’s research foci include corporate social responsibility and advocacy, startup and entrepreneurial communication, digital communication, and prosocial communication.

Dr. Chen has produced over 35 refereed journal articles, book chapters, and books. Her work has been published in leading...

  • University of Miami, PhD in Communication, 2017
  • University of Georgia, MA in Journalism and Mass Communication, 2013
  • Zhejiang University, BA in English with Honors Minor in Innovation and...
  • Public relations
  • Strategic communication
  • Social media strategies
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Marilyn (Bordwell) DeLaure teaches courses in rhetoric, criticism, and social movements. Her research investigates how people effect social change, focusing especially on embodied performance. She has published essays on dance, civil rights rhetoric, and environmental activism, and is co-editor of Culture Jamming: Activism and the Art of Cultural Resistance (NYU Press). She is also a producer of the award-winning documentary film MOTHERLOAD about the cargo bicycling movement.

  • University of Iowa, PhD in Rhetorical Studies, 1999
  • Drake University, BA in Speech Communication
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Eve-Anne Doohan joined the faculty at USF in 2004. She studies the communication of married couples, with a particular interest in relational history narratives and their connection to marital and individual outcomes. She is also interested in beliefs people have about marriage. Her current research focuses on how married couples make the decision to have children. Her work has been published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Family Communication, and the Western Journal of...

  • University of Washington, PhD/MA in Speech Communication
  • Gonzaga University, BA in Communication Arts
Kalmanovitz 313

Evelyn Y. Ho is a professor of communication studies, Asian Pacific American studies, and critical diversity studies. Beginning with an understanding that communication is a cultural activity and that health care systems and beliefs are profoundly cultural, Professor Ho's teaching and research focus broadly on the intersections of health, culture, and communication, with a specific focus on the use and cultural meanings of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in underserved communities. She has led...

  • PhD/MA, Communication Studies, University of Iowa
  • BA, Speech Communication, University of Washington
  • Qualitative research
  • Patient education
  • Community based research
  • Applied research
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Marco Jacquemet teaches courses in communication and culture, intercultural communication, geographies of communication, and justice and social change. His scholarship focuses on the communicative mutations produced by the circulation of migrants and media idioms in the Mediterranean area. His more recent book project is called Transidioma: Language and Power in the 21st Century. He is also present in Italian media activist networks, where he investigates the link between media and power.

  • PhD, Cultural/Linguistic Anthropology, UC Berkeley
  • MA, Linguistics/Semiotics, EHESS, Paris
  • BA, Communication Studies, U. of Bologna
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Brandi Lawless is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies. Broadly, her research can be defined as critical intercultural communication — an area of research concerned with understanding power, privilege, marginalization, hegemony, and ideologies. She is interested in the ways individuals (re)produce and communicate identities and subjectivities at the intersections of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and other aspects of identity. Her most recent work has explored intercultural...

  • PhD, Communication, University of New Mexico
  • MA, Communication Studies, San Francisco State University
  • BA, California State University, Northridge
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Leigh Meredith earned her PhD in Communication Studies, specializing in Rhetoric and Public Culture, from Northwestern University.

Her research and teaching interests center on the relationship between changing communication technologies, practices of representation, and popular conceptions of identity and subjectivity. More specifically, she focuses on the interface between old and new media, and what that site of convergence reveals about changing ways of reading and relating to others.

  • PhD, Communication Studies, Rhetoric and Public Culture, Northwestern University
  • BA, English Literature, Princeton University
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Bryan Whaley teaches courses in social influence, message design in health interaction, communication and disability, and experimental research methods. His research interests concern the relationship between language/message variables and social influence, linguistic and social cognitive factors related to illness explanation and compliance messages in health contexts, linguistic and visual strategies for explaining health-related, scientific or complex information, and communication strategies...

  • PhD, Purdue University

Part-Time Faculty

Marianna Adgemian is an Adjunct Professor in Public Relations Writing in the Communication Studies Department. She brings a diverse professional background to the classroom with experience in public relations, media relations, research, and corporate communications in the technology, consumer, government, academic and financial sectors. Professor Adgemian is a skilled trilingual communicator, having written for audiences in English, Spanish, and Portuguese while serving clients such as Meta...

  • University of San Francisco, MA in Professional & Strategic Communication, 2021
  • San Francisco State University, BA in Communication Studies, 2018
  • Public Relations
  • Strategic Communication
  • Media Relations
  • Crisis Communication
  • Corporate Communication